: Today, Independence Day in the United States, appropriately marks the official publication date for the newly-revised version of "The All-American Boys" by Walter Cunningham (Apollo 7). Though a nationwide tour has yet to be announced, a few events have been scheduled for Texas. If you reside elsewhere, we are now shipping signed copies through buySPACE.
: Add to your space library with some great savings off Apogee Books' NASA Mission Reports! Beginning today and extending through next Friday, you can order titles from this great reference series for only $10 each. For details on how to order, see our "Buy, Sell, Trade" Messages forum.
: The National Archives Experience, opening this fall, strives to "motivate people to make use of the patriotic spirit that lives on because of records." As part of this interactive exhibit, the Archives are planning to devote a section to displaying documents and mementos collected from government agencies all related to the day mankind took its first moonwalk. Bruce Bustard, writing for the Archives' "Prologue" provides an early overview of "20 July 1969", opening Fall 2003.
: Imagine having unfettered access to the 200+ airplanes and spacecraft to be displayed at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center. No crowds. No barriers. No one stopping you from hopping in the cockpit. Imagine no more: under the direction of Dennis Biela and David Palermo, the NASM Photographic Archive will provide visitors and Internet users a virtual opportunity to tour the Smithsonian's aviation and space collection, in full 360 degree splendor.
Watch soon for a collectSPACE preview of one of the first space artifacts to be captured in VR!
: Aerospace author Bill Yenne has penned "The Story of The Boeing Company", the first, full-color coffee table book chronicling the accomplishments of the companies that comprise Boeing today. Included among the nearly 300 page volume are many never-before-seen photographs illustrating the stories of the Boeing B-17, B-29, 707 and 747; the Douglas World Cruisers and DC-3; the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II; the North American P-51; and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft.
: Though a petition to keep the Space Walk of Fame Museum open at the Miracle City Mall was signed by nearly 600 supporters, the eviction is still proceeding. However all is not lost; the Searstown Mall, just up the road in Titusville, FL, will now host the museum. The move is scheduled to start in two weeks.
: It was 34 years ago this very day and moment that a Saturn V rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to mankind's first lunar landing. To mark the event, and the five landings that would follow, Steve Hankow of Farthest Reaches designed the Apollo Money Clip for buySPACE. Available in either silver, titanium, or solid gold, these hand-crafted clips are the perfect way to celebrate small steps and giant leaps.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the county clerk in Fort Bend County, Texas, has issued a marriage license so that Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko can marry Ekaterina Dmitritev next month. Why is that special? Malenchenko is currently on the International Space Station, and won't return until late October or early November. Instead, the marriage ceremony will be conducted via a phone link between the station and Texas (a family friend will stand in as a proxy for Malenchenko if something goes wrong with the link; a procedure permitted by Texas law.) This will be the first marriage ceremony conducted (at least partially) in space. The couple will have another ceremony in Russia once he returns from the station.
: It appears that Russian officials may block plans for an ISS cosmonaut to marry his American bride next month via a radio link, SPACE.com reported Friday. A Rosaviakosmos spokesman said that Russian law required the bride and groom to be together at the same time for the marriage to be valid. This may not be that big an issue since the couple plan to hold another marriage ceremony in Russia after he returns to Earth. A bigger stumbling block could be the regulations of the Russian Air Force, of which Yuri Malenchenko is an officer, which require permission of both his superior officers and security officials before he can marry a non-Russian citizen. Spokesman Sergei Gorbunov told SPACE.com that wedding ceremonies are not explicitly permitted (but apparently also not explicitly forbidden) by the ISS crew regulations.
: NASA will decide soon whether museums should be allowed to display Columbia debris, the Associated Press reports. Several cities have written asking for pieces for their own memorials, and curators at the National Air and Space Museum have been holding informal discussions. NASA has already decided that researchers will have access to the debris for study. Unlike the Challenger wreckage, which was interred in two silos at Cape Canaveral, the 84,000 pieces of Columbia recovered will be stored in an air conditioned, 10,000 square foot room on the 16th floor of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center.
: Before the race to the Moon, there was the race to put the first man-made object in orbit. Most know that the first satellite, Sputnik, was launched by the USSR. But what about its contenders? Historian Matt Bille, writing with aerospace engineer Erika Lishock, are publishing their research in "The First Space Race: Launching the World's First Satellite", due out in summer 2003. Jim McDade interviews Bille to provide a preview, including Project Pilot, a secret US Navy satellite.
: Alabama's Department of Motor Vehicles may soon offer for sale a space-themed license plate to benefit state-wide math and science education. The tag, which features Mercury Redstone, Saturn V, and Delta 4 rockets, as well as a proposed spaceplane and the motto "Leading the World into Space" will be available if 1000 Alabama motorists pre-commit to purchasing.
: Just a quick note this morning to note the date of Aurora Galleries' next private signing with David Scott: August 13. Collectors may mail their items (and payment) to Aurora's Bell Canyon, Calif., office to be autographed by the Gemini and Apollo astronaut.
Easy to ask but harder to answer, Larry McGlynn's three word query taps into a common issue for collectors, "What is rare?". Though only a few hours old, the question has already inspired responses ranging from one-line quips to thoughtful comparisons.
: Today is the 1,000th consecutive day that humans have occupied the International Space Station. Seven crews, 10 Americans and 10 Russians, have conducted 12 spacewalks, welcomed 11 visiting shuttles, 10 Progress cargo vehicles and four Soyuz taxi crews.
: Our collectors directory not only helps you locate those who share your interests, but also qualifies you for savings on space memorabilia. Should you need another reason to join, beginning today through August 27, collectors who register (or who update their entries) will be entered to win prizes including copies of Warner Brothers' "The Right Stuff" Special Edition DVD and Space Voyagers' Ultimate Apollo Mission.
: Prior to Columbia's loss, the plan for the Hubble Space Telescope was to return it to Earth in 2010, for display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
Speaking today on behalf of the Astronaut Office at a public hearing in Washington, DC, John Grunsfeld expressed reservations about launching a Space Shuttle mission to return the telescope and noted that NASA had all but tabled the idea. "In a sense this mission would be risking human lives... for the purpose of disabling great science, albeit due to necessity at end of life," explained Grunsfeld in his prepared remarks. "For this reason the Astronaut Office favors [installing a] propulsion module" to assist with a controlled deorbit.
Prior to Grunsfeld speaking, former astronaut Bruce McCandless asked that the HST end-of-life decision be weighed by its scientific merits rather than the perceived risks to a crew. Though he deferred judgment to NASA, and acknowledged that many of the modifications made while HST was in orbit would need to be altered, he cited the scope's weight as within the safety limits for a return inside the orbiter's payload bay.